Back in 1977 when the first Star Wars movie came out, George Lucas retained the merchandise rights. A little forethought goes a long way when it comes to intellectual property! Since then, Star Wars merchandise has been in high demand, especially during the holiday season. The first weekend’s record-setting box office of Star Wars: The Force Awakens surpassed even the most optimistic analyst projections, grossing $238 million in North America. With such a showing, Christmas lists will undoubtedly be amended to include products from toys to pajamas that feature light saber, space ship, and Wookiee likenesses–requiring rights and royalties transaction management, supported by FADEL.
Licensing and the resultant rights and royalties management related to popular brand names span far and wide, with consumer product manufacturers across the globe vying to get in on the monetization of the Star Wars brand. A simple search on the Toys “R” Us site for Star Wars returns 11 categories: Episode VII, Action Figures, Building Sets, Vehicles, Hero Play, Video Games, Collectibles, Games and Puzzles, Electronics, Movies, Outdoor Play, and Bikes, Scooters & Ride-Ons. Under these categories lie hundreds of products–for example, Action Figures returns 8 pages of product options featuring 173 action figures. Each transaction incurs royalty fees payable to the owners of the Star Wars brand, and each contract is subject to different payment terms.
The rights and royalties for Star Wars products would be truly impossible to manage using manual systems and spreadsheets, but as technology progresses, IP that is perceived to be on a much smaller scale proves to be equally, if not more, complex. Have a look at our infographic “What’s Inside Your Digital Product” to see the details related to an apparently simple digital magazine publication. Turns out, there’s more than meets the eye.